The city of Dijon has been given the task of building one of the future Cities of Gastronomy (the other cities are Tours, Paris-Rungis and Lyon). These projects will highlight and celebrate the listing of the gastronomic meal of the French on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.

The construction project of the future International City of Gastronomy and Wine of Dijon has just taken a new step by entering its “operational phase,” and French President François Hollande attended the formal ceremony launching the construction site last month. Work will begin this year and the “City” is planned to open to the public in the second half of 2019. “With this City of Gastronomy, Dijon will become a major European and global destination,” Hollande said during his speech.

At the heart of the project, a large exhibition hall will give the keys to understanding the French gastronomic meal and the importance of wine in cultural heritage. The same ticket will allow visitors to access two exhibition halls. The Pavilion of Gastronomy and Wine will offer permanent and temporary exhibitions dedicated to French gastronomy and the wines of the world. A second exhibition hall located in a renovated chapel will offer information on the climate of the winemaking region of Burgundy, which was also listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2015. A conference center with 250 seats and several meeting rooms will allow for gastronomy and wine-related conferences and events to take place.

An education center will be located in the City and will offer intensive five-month courses in English on patisserie and French cuisine. In Dijon, a city that is easily accessible by high-speed train or by car, students from around the world will also be able to learn about wine pairings and will discover regional products. Each year, this education center will welcome over a hundred students in a facility with almost 2,500 square feet of educational space and one laboratory each dedicated to cuisine and patisserie.

Additionally, the City will feature a hotel, 15,000 square feet of shopping space for local gastronomic, wine and art products, two cinemas, and an eco-neighborhood with more than 500 homes.